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New Designers Talk: Empowering Creativity Through Entrepreneurship


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Simon Belsham

Simon Belsham said he was ‘so blown away’ by the New Designers event and talked about Not on the Highstreet (NOTHS) as a company that is able to ‘take amazing talents and turn them into a reality.’ He said that ‘technology enables you and empowers you take your product globally and has changed the world we live in.’ Belsham gave an insight into NOTHS and said he often calls it ‘a modern day high-street’ that can bring the same philosophy from the past, as the actual high street used to be the centre for everyone in a community. NOTHS has 5000 small businesses and ships to around 150 countries around the world. It has turned 10-years-old being founded in 2006.

Not on the Highstreet is very ethical for both their partners and customers. Simon said they ‘call sellers our partners’ and ‘our customers trust us to select high quality products.’  Repeatedly he said the main factors of NOTHS is being ‘unique and different.’ NOTHS has a set of categories such as jewellery, food and drink, baby and child, and pet products which their partners’ products are based on. ‘Creativity is an opportunity’ especially as a whole country, ‘what makes Britain brilliant’, leading the world through creativity, which helps the UK grow.  Simon wanted to highlight that NOTHS’ aim is to give people an opportunity to turn their talents into a career/business – and not just like a life style/hobby. Also, he said that ‘we want customers to fall in love with shopping again.’ This is because he believes that mass production has lost values and retail is commoditised, whereas NOTHS believe ‘to be a successful business and retail is to be different and that standing for something different is so important.’ Also, they recognise that now more than ever consumers ‘care about where things come from’ e.g information on the supply chain.

NOTHS has a Declaration of Interdependence, in which is the centre to the business. There is NOTHS – which champion the independent, the Consumer – make it matter and Partner – who lead through creativity. 


The ‘job is to connect people’, regardless of politicians, but rather to embrace change. Simon positively stated to ‘live the dream that you really want to live’ and ‘to be different – which is what makes you unique.’ This is alike to NOTHS themselves as a company is not like other websites and doesn’t have gifts like others.

Sally Bendelow

Sally Bendelow said she felt ‘very connected’ to the show as a previous designer student. She explained in more depth about NOTHS and gave top tips behind how to be a unique designer.

How NOTHS supports partners and helps them grow?


NOTHS has a ‘broad spectrum of categories’ and a commercial team that run individual business then after hitting a scale mark, partners get an account manager.  It is a ‘very serious business’ and the company also uses events and workshop platforms to connect partners and consumers.

Connecting and getting your product on NOTHS: 


What do NOTHS look for?


Top Tips 



How do partners cope with demands?

The knowledge/story/detail of the partner given to the customer, enables the customer to understand ‘the story and the time and effort it takes to produce the products’, in addition they support the challenges especially during busy time periods. Also, stock levels are shown to the partners to help partners understand what is popular and how often they are being purchased. ‘Cope with demands through skill swaps’.

Guidelines of being a partner 


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By Shivanee Tailor

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New Designers 2016 

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